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Ceol Phádraig

Music at St Patrick’s College Drumcondra, 1875-2016


Edited By John Buckley and John O'Flynn

Since its foundation in 1875, the activities of St Patrick’s College Drumcondra and its graduates have been closely woven into the educational and cultural fabric of Irish society. This volume charts how music and music education have fulfilled a major role throughout the history of the Dublin-based establishment that began as a teacher training college and later evolved into a college of education and liberal arts. Graduates of St Patrick’s College have taught hundreds of thousands, if not millions of pupils across the country, have made significant contributions to various facets of professional and amateur music activity, and have had an invaluable influence on the wellbeing of individuals, the development of communities and the advancement of the nation as a whole.

The book records and interprets key musical developments, appraises the work of major contributors, and captures the activities of students, staff and visiting musicians at St Patrick’s College up to its incorporation into Dublin City University in 2016. It represents a major scholarly work that details the progress of music at a university college in Ireland, and it is envisaged that its varied chapters and themes will evoke further memories and discussions among graduates of the College and others.

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Afterword: St Patrick’s College Music Department and its place in Irish musical life (Niall Doyle)


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Afterword: St Patrick’s College Music Department and its place in Irish musical life

Niall Doyle

‘Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be’ is a Peter de Vries quotation I’ve always liked enormously. At this remove, nostalgia is the warm emotion that first rushes in whenever I think of the three highly formative years I spent as a student in St Patrick’s College from 1978 to 1981. As I suspect it will for numerous former students, reading many of the chapters in this book has stimulated pleasurable reminiscence of great experiences, people and friendships. It has enhanced my appreciation of my own time there and the many seminal experiences it provided at such an important time in the life of any young person.

This was perhaps predictable. Less predictable was that it has given me a new understanding of the history of the College in general and of the contribution of the music department in particular. Learning so much I did not know about music in St Patrick’s College has brought, through different, well-chosen lenses, a new understanding of the energetic musical idealism, activism and leadership there. It is clear that over generations this created the highly positive culture and powerful sense of mission that I experienced in the College and which are to be seen in the many developments since that time.

Using the nostalgic side of the ledger as a starting point, I’d like to briefly add...

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